Where? Oakland, mostly: the center of a dozen or so lives, all of them Native American by some calculation, though each is working to define that for themselves. They are, in Orange’s words, “Urban Indians,” knowing city streets better than any other landscape, but few of them feel at home anywhere. As in Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin (or, closer to home, Donna Miscolta’s Hola and Goodbye), their stories are loosely threaded together by family and circumstance, and in this case by the inaugural Big Oakland Powwow, where their paths converge. In his debut, Orange is expert at managing the form and chaos of his fully populated novel (often, the chaos wins), but he is most masterful at opening himself to the pain and yearning of these voices, as if each of them were gasping for air through his.
—Tom Nissley, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA
“…you have to know we should never not tell our stories..” –Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield
In his debut novel, There There, Tommy Orange tells a story like none other, one that grabs you from the beginning and won’t let go at the end. A story of alienation in your own country, of the beauty and ugliness of family, of traditions and ties and living your truth. Tommy’s voice is utterly unique and wholly satisfying. Don’t miss this book.
—Janis Segress, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA